best movies by year The Best Movies of 1996  

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List Rules Movies that were in theaters in 1996

A list of the best movies of 1996, from classics like Romeo & Juliet to dramas like Jerry Maguire. The '90s were a decade where Hollywood thrived. In were new stars and big blockbusters and 1996 was no exception. Some the best movies of this year are some of the best teen, coming of age, adventure, comedies and dramas in history. The films on here are very memorable and had audiences on the edges of their seats, and still pack a punch so many years after they were first released. You shouldn't be too surprised by the movies listed on here.

As stated before, some of the best movies of the decade were released in 1996. Who could forget Fargo, Mission: Impossible with Tom Cruise, and of course, Scream starring Neve Campbell and David Arquette. And let's not forget about The Rock with Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris.

The best movies of 1996 featured some of the biggest stars in the movie business. Whether it was the aforementioned stars continuing their success or the breakout performances featured in Swingers, or established stars like Mel Gibson in Ransom.

Some of the best movies of all time were released in 1996. This is the ultimate list of the best movies of 1996, which shouldn't feature the best movies of 1995. Vote and re-rank this list according to how you think the best movies of that year should be reflected. If you notice that there's a movie from this year that should be on this list but is missing, feel free to add it.
list ordered by

1
96 42
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Fargo Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy, Frances McDormand Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief who ...more

2
68 56
Jerry Maguire is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Jerry Maguire Tom Cruise, Lucy Liu, Renée Zellweger Jerry Maguire is a 1996 American romantic comedy-drama sports film written, produced and directed by Cameron Crowe, and stars Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Renée Zellweger. It was ...more

3
73 47
Trainspotting is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Trainspotting Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller Trainspotting is a 1996 British crime comedy drama film directed by Danny Boyle, and starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, and Kelly Macdonald. ...more

4
48 53
Primal Fear is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Primal Fear Edward Norton, Richard Gere, Laura Linney Primal Fear is a 1996 American neo-noir crime-thriller film, based on William Diehl's 1993 novel of the same name and directed by Gregory Hoblit. The film tells the story of Chicago defense ...more

5
63 54
Space Jam is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Space Jam Michael Jordan, Bill Murray, Larry Bird Space Jam is a 1996 American live-action/animated sports family/comedy film starring basketball player Michael Jordan and featuring the Looney Tunes characters. The film was produced by Ivan ...more

6
94 47
Scream is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Scream Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox Scream is a 1996 American slasher film written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven. The film stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore, and David Arquette. Released on ...more

7
70 55
Happy Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Happy Gilmore Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Julie Bowen Happy Gilmore is a 1996 sports comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan and produced by Robert Simonds. It stars Adam Sandler as the title character, an unsuccessful ice hockey player who discovers ...more

8
99 54
Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Independence Day Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox Independence Day is a 1996 American science fiction disaster film co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich. The film stars Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, ...more

9
38 78
The English Patient is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
The English Patient Willem Dafoe, Ralph Fiennes, Colin Firth The English Patient is a 1996 romantic drama directed by Anthony Minghella from his own script based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ondaatje and produced by Saul Zaentz. The film was ...more

10
45 53
Ransom is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Ransom Mel Gibson, Liev Schreiber, Rene Russo Ransom is a 1996 American crime thriller film written by Richard Price & Alexander Ignon and directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Brawley Nolte, Gary Sinise, Delroy ...more

11
25 39
When We Were Kings is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
When We Were Kings George Foreman, B.B. King, Don King When We Were Kings is a 1996 documentary film directed by Leon Gast about the famous "Rumble in the Jungle" heavyweight championship match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. The ...more

12
64 39
The Rock is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
The Rock Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris The Rock is a 1996 action film that primarily takes place on Alcatraz Island and in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was directed by Michael Bay, produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and ...more

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13
21 33
Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Hamlet Kate Winslet, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal Hamlet is a 1996 Shakespearean tragedy film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, adapted for the screen and directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars in the titular role as Prince ...more

14
46 39
Sling Blade is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Sling Blade Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton, John Ritter Sling Blade is a 1996 American drama film set in rural Arkansas, written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton, who also stars in the lead role. It tells the story of a man named Karl Childers with ...more

15
67 38
Mission: Impossible is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Mission: Impossible Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Vanessa Redgrave Mission: Impossible is a 1996 American action spy film directed by Brian De Palma, produced by and starring Tom Cruise. Based on the television series of the same name, the plot follows Ethan ...more

16
43 42
A Time to Kill is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
A Time to Kill Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey A Time to Kill is a 1996 drama film adaptation of John Grisham's 1989 novel of the same name, directed by Joel Schumacher. Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kevin ...more

17
70 40
Twister is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Twister Helen Hunt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Paxton Twister is a 1996 American disaster drama film starring Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt as storm chasers researching tornadoes. It was directed by Jan de Bont from a screenplay by Michael Crichton ...more

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18
49 46
The Birdcage is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
The Birdcage Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Hank Azaria The Birdcage is a 1996 American comedy film, directed by Mike Nichols and stars Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane, and Dianne Wiest. Dan Futterman, Calista Flockhart, Hank Azaria, and ...more

19
30 61
Jack is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Jack Jennifer Lopez, Robin Williams, Diane Lane Jack is a 1996 American comedy-drama film starring Robin Williams, Diane Lane, Jennifer Lopez, Fran Drescher, Bill Cosby, and Brian Kerwin. It was directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Williams ...more

20
50 47
Romeo + Juliet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Romeo + Juliet Leonardo DiCaprio, Paul Rudd, Brian Dennehy Romeo + Juliet is a 1996 American romantic drama film adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It was directed by Baz Luhrmann. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in ...more

21
29 45
Swingers is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Swingers Heather Graham, Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau filmography Swingers is a 1996 comedy-drama film about the lives of single, unemployed actors living on the 'eastside' of Hollywood, California during the 1990s swing revival. Written by Jon Favreau and ...more

22
58 53
Mars Attacks! is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Mars Attacks! Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson, Sarah Jessica Parker Mars Attacks! is a 1996 American comic science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and written by Jonathan Gems. Based on the cult trading card series of the same name, the film features an ...more

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23
11 22
A Moment of Innocence is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
mirna-sanders added A Moment of Innocence Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Ammar Tafti, Moharram Zaynalzadeh A Moment of Innocence is a 1996 film directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf. It is also known as Nun va Goldoon, Bread and Flower, Bread and Flower Pot, and The Bread and the Vase

24
49 42
Kingpin is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Kingpin Bill Murray, Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid Kingpin is a 1996 American sport comedy film directed by the Farrelly brothers and starring Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, Vanessa Angel, and Bill Murray. It was filmed in and around Pittsburgh, ...more

25
44 37
From Dusk till Dawn is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
From Dusk till Dawn Salma Hayek, George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino From Dusk till Dawn is a 1996 American horror-crime thriller film directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino. It stars George Clooney, Tarantino, Harvey Keitel and Juliette ...more

26
50 52
The Nutty Professor is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
The Nutty Professor Eddie Murphy, Jada Pinkett Smith, Dave Chappelle The Nutty Professor is a 1996 American science fiction comedy film starring Eddie Murphy. It is a remake of the 1963 film of the same name, which starred Jerry Lewis, and was itself based on ...more

27
40 49
The Cable Guy is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
The Cable Guy Jim Carrey, Ben Stiller, Jack Black The Cable Guy is a 1996 American thriller dark comedy film directed by Ben Stiller, who also co-stars in the film, and starring Jim Carrey and Matthew Broderick. The film was released in the ...more

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28
39 43
Black Sheep is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Black Sheep Julie Benz, Gary Busey, David Spade Black Sheep is a 1996 comedy film directed by Penelope Spheeris, written by Fred Wolf and starring Chris Farley and David Spade. The film portrays a political contest in which a candidate for ...more

29
32 26
Sleepers is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
looksharp added Sleepers Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman Sleepers is a 1996 American legal crime drama film written, produced, and directed by Barry Levinson, and based on Lorenzo Carcaterra's 1995 novel of the same name.

30
41 46
The People vs. Larry Flynt is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
The People vs. Larry Flynt Courtney Love, Edward Norton, Woody Harrelson The People vs. Larry Flynt is a 1996 American biographical drama film directed by Miloš Forman and starring Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, and Edward Norton. It chronicles the rise of ...more

31
43 35
Fear is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Fear Reese Witherspoon, Alyssa Milano, Mark Wahlberg Fear is a 1996 American thriller drama film directed by James Foley. It was written by Christopher Crowe, who created the TV series B.L. Stryker, The Watcher, B.J. and the Bear and Seven Days. ...more

32
52 33
The Craft is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
The Craft Neve Campbell, Robin Tunney, Christine Taylor The Craft is a 1996 American supernatural thriller film directed by Andrew Fleming and starring Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True. The film's plot centers on a group of ...more

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33
40 55
Beavis and Butt-head Do Americ... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Beavis and Butt-head Do America Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, David Letterman Beavis and Butt-head Do America is a 1996 American animated road comedy film, based on the TV series Beavis and Butt-head. It was produced by Paramount Pictures in association with Geffen ...more

34
14 43
Bottle Rocket is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Bottle Rocket Owen Wilson, James Caan, Leslie Mann Bottle Rocket is a 1996 American crime comedy film directed by Wes Anderson. It was co-written by Anderson and Owen Wilson. In addition to being Wes Anderson's directorial debut, Bottle Rocket ...more

35
37 38
Star Trek: First Contact is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Star Trek: First Contact Patrick Stewart, James Cromwell, Alfre Woodard Star Trek: First Contact is a 1996 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the eighth feature film based on Star Trek, and the first film to feature no cast members ...more

36
24 39
Multiplicity is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Multiplicity Julie Bowen, Michael Keaton, Andie MacDowell Multiplicity is a 1996 comedy film, starring Michael Keaton and Andie MacDowell. The film was co-produced and directed by Harold Ramis. The original music score was composed by George Fenton.

37
17 33
Courage Under Fire is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Courage Under Fire Meg Ryan, Matt Damon, Denzel Washington Courage Under Fire is a 1996 film directed by Edward Zwick, and starring Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, Lou Diamond Phillips and Matt Damon.

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38
31 37
Broken Arrow is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Broken Arrow John Travolta, Christian Slater, Howie Long Broken Arrow is a 1996 American action film directed by John Woo, written by Graham Yost, and starring John Travolta and Christian Slater. It deals with the theft of two American nuclear

39
23 39
The Long Kiss Goodnight is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
The Long Kiss Goodnight Samuel L. Jackson, Geena Davis, Brian Cox The Long Kiss Goodnight is a 1996 action film directed and produced by Renny Harlin, written and produced by Shane Black and starring Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson.

40
31 41
That Thing You Do! is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
That Thing You Do! Charlize Theron, Tom Hanks, Liv Tyler That Thing You Do! is a 1996 American musical comedy drama film written, directed by, and co-starring Tom Hanks. Set in the summer of 1964, the movie tells the story of the quick rise and fall ...more

41
24 34
Phenomenon is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
looksharp added Phenomenon John Travolta, Robert Duvall, Kyra Sedgwick Phenomenon is a 1996 American romantic fantasy drama film directed by Jon Turteltaub, written by Gerald Di Pego, and starring John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whitaker, Robert Duvall, and ...more

42
20 39
Tin Cup is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Tin Cup Kevin Costner, Rene Russo, Don Johnson Tin Cup is a 1996 romantic comedy film co-written and directed by Ron Shelton, and starring Kevin Costner and Rene Russo with Cheech Marin and Don Johnson in major supporting roles.

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43
43 29
101 Dalmatians is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
101 Dalmatians Hugh Laurie, Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels 101 Dalmatians is a 1996 family comedy film written and produced by John Hughes and directed by Stephen Herek. It is the second adaptation of Dodie Smith's 1956 novel The Hundred and One ...more

44
20 33
Ghosts of Mississippi is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Ghosts of Mississippi Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, James Woods Ghosts of Mississippi is a 1996 American drama film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, and James Woods. The plot is based on the true story of the 1994 trial of ...more

45
13 42
Waiting for Guffman is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Waiting for Guffman David Cross, Parker Posey, Catherine O'Hara Waiting for Guffman is a comedy in the documentary style starring, co-written and directed by Christopher Guest that was released in 1997. Its cast included Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Fred ...more

46
40 34
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Demi Moore, Kevin Kline, Jason Alexander Madacy Kids brings to life Victor Hugo's classic novel for this entry in their animated Children's Film Favorites series. Centering on the deformed Quasimodo, Children's Film Favorites: The ...more

47
20 24
Jingle All the Way is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Jingle All the Way Arnold Schwarzenegger, Big Show, Phil Hartman Jingle All the Way is a 1996 American Christmas family comedy film directed by Brian Levant and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad, with Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Jake Lloyd, James ...more

48
14 19
Shine is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Shine Geoffrey Rush, John Gielgud, Lynn Redgrave Shine is a 1996 Australian biographical drama film based on the life of pianist David Helfgott, who suffered a mental breakdown and spent years in institutions. It stars Geoffrey Rush, Lynn ...more

49
31 32
The Frighteners is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
The Frighteners Michael J. Fox, Peter Jackson, R. Lee Ermey The Frighteners is a 1996 New Zealand-American horror comedy film directed by Peter Jackson and co-written with his wife, Fran Walsh. The film stars Michael J. Fox, Trini Alvarado, Peter Dobson, ...more

50
18 13
James and the Giant Peach is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Dimos Dicoudis added James and the Giant Peach Susan Sarandon, Richard Dreyfuss, Joanna Lumley James and the Giant Peach is a 1996 British-American musical fantasy film directed by Henry Selick, based on the 1961 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. It was produced by Tim Burton and ...more